Calithena, one of the head honchos behind the new old school gaming fanzine Fight On! has started a thread over at the Original D&D Discussion forum. The idea is to launch a community Megadungeon project, one level or module at a time. Each willing author can design his or her own level, and these self-contained levels will be published in subsequent issues of Fight On! Each will be a stand-alone adventure for now. The goal is to eventually fit each level together for a complete published Megadungeon in the future.
Oh yeah. I jumped on this idea. This is all under the assumption that my submission will be accepted and published. This would indeed be the first published material for yours truly, so I'm taking this seriously. At the same time, I need to consider the audience of Fight On!, and the limitations I'll be working under.
Here's a quote from Calithena detailing some of the aspects of this project:
The Darkness Beneath
and here are some details. Note that if we made this a community project everyone involved would have ample opportunity to get creative with their own levels/sublevels and even add new ones, even where it overrode what I have already used in my games. I would want modest control over some big picture stuff but I think you all know I'm pretty flexible.
The following indicates the levels of the dungeon, with the levels they connect to in parentheses:
Surface Level: The Jagged Plinths (Kuranes, 1, 2)
Level 1: The Upper Caves (S, 2, 3, 5)
Level 2: Warrens of the Troglodytes (S, 1, 5)
Level 3: Spawning Grounds of the Crab-Men (1, 4)
Level 4: A Mysterious Crystal Hemisphere (3, 7)
Level 5: The Lower Caves (1, 2, 6, 8)
Level 6: The Fane of Salicia (Kuranes, 5, 8, 10, 12)
Level 7: The Palace of Eternal Illusion (4, 8, 9)
Level 8: The Deep Caves (5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
Level 9: Citadel of the Dark Trolls (7, 8)
Level 10: The Hall of Mirrors (6, 8, 14)
Level 11: The Caverns of Slime (8, 13)
Level 12: The Blasphemous Shrine of the Tentacled God (6, 8, 14)
Level 13: Fungus Forest and Mold Falls (8, 11, 15)
Level 14: City of the Ancients (10, 12)
Level 15: The Tomb of The Black Lord of Nothingness (13)
I liked the sound of The Fane of Salicia, and The Blasphemous Shrine of the Tentacled God. But, in the end I asked if I could have the honor of writing Level 3, Spawning Grounds of the Crab-men.
Why? Because Crab-men are cool.
My vision thus far for the level is in it's formative stages. I am not sure how in depth I'll get on an ecological stage, since that sort of minutiae is kind of counter-old school. Besides, in the spirit of Megadungeons, if things make too much sense, the mystery of the underworld is lost. The inexplicable is a necessary ingredient in order to maintain that other-worldy feel. Others might certainly take their favored approach in writing for The Darkness Beneath, but this is simply my preferred method for Megadungeons.
So, the purpose of this post is actually two-fold. First off, to direct potential fans to the project, in order that they too might be able to participate in this interesting project, AND
I'd like to get some seeds of inspiration germinating for my own Level. I have quite a few very vague ideas jotted down, but here's what I'm looking for from the blogosphere:
A Half-Dozen Ideas for Spawning Grounds of the Crab-men.
Simple, one sentence suggestions are what I want. Be as detailed as you like, but I'm not looking for anything more than basic ideas, from which to design my major rooms within the dungeon.
I won't tip my hand concerning the project too much, as I think you should purchase Fight On! if you want to see the end result, BUT I'd love to witness some cross-pollenation of ideas from the blogosphere from which awesomeness could spring forth.
Oh, and please! Let this be the first and last reference to the Crabman from the Fiend Folio. I am NOT using the FF Crabman.
~Sham, Quixotic Referee